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How to Install and Setup WordPress Multisite Network

Do you want to set up and install WordPress multisite network? WordPress comes with a built-in capability to create multiple websites using the same WordPress installation.

A WordPress multisite network is used by blogs, schools, and businesses, who need to run separate websites but want to manage them under one dashboard.

In this article, we will show you how to properly install and setup a WordPress multisite network.

How to install and setup WordPress multisite network

Since this is a comprehensive article, we have added the table of contents for easier navigation:

WordPress Multisite Basics

  1. What is WordPress Multisite?
  2. Pros of using a WordPress multisite network
  3. Cons of using a WordPress multisite network
  4. Who needs a WordPress multisite network?

WordPress Multisite Installation and Set up

  1. Requirements for a WordPress multisite network
  2. Choosing a domain structure for your multisite network
  3. Setting up wildcard subdomains
  4. Setting up custom domain for WordPress multisite
  5. Enabling WordPress multisite network feature
  6. Setting up your WordPress multisite network

WordPress Multisite Configuration Settings

  1. Configuring network settings
  2. Opening your multisite network for registrations
  3. New site settings
  4. Upload settings for your multisite network
  5. Plugin menu settings

Setting up Default Content, Theme, and Plugins

  1. Adding new sites to your WordPress multisite network
  2. Adding themes and plugins to your multisite network
  3. Adding default Content to new sites

Troubleshooting and FAQs

  1. Troubleshooting WordPress multisite issues
  2. FAQs about WordPress multisite

What is WordPress Multisite Network?

A WordPress Multisite network allows you to run and manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs from a single WordPress installation.

It enables you to create new sites instantly and manage them using the same username and password. You can even allow other users to signup and create their own blogs on your domain.

The WordPress multisite network comes with advanced settings that you can use to customize each website / blog on your network.

Pros of Using a WordPress Multisite Network

In many situations, a WordPress multisite network can be more useful than managing multiple standalone WordPress sites. Here are some of the advantages of using a WordPress multisite network:

  1. As the network administrator, you can easily manage multiple sites from a single dashboard.
  2. Each site on the network can have its own admins. The site admins will have the capabilities to manage only their own website.
  3. You can install plugins / themes and activate them for multiple sites with one download.
  4. Multisite network also makes it easier for you to manage updates. You only need to update your WordPress, plugins, or themes on one “master” install.

Cons of Using a WordPress Multisite Network

Creating a WordPress multisite network is not always helpful in managing multiple sites. Here are some of the disadvantages that you should keep in mind before setting up a multisite network.

  1. All sites on the network share the same resources. This means that when your network is down, all other sites go down as well.
  2. It’s not easy to manage traffic and server resources for the beginner level users. In case, one of your websites gets unexpected traffic, then it will affect all other websites on the network.
  3. If one website gets hacked, then this means all sites on your network will get hacked.
  4. Some WordPress plugins may not work well on a multisite network.
  5. WordPress multisite network is not properly supported by all web hosting providers which limits your options. We will talk more about this later in the article.

Who needs a WordPress multisite network?

Just because you manage multiple WordPress websites does not mean you need to start using a multisite network.

There are third party tools to manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard. Tools like InfiniteWP or iThemes Sync make it easier to maintain multiple WordPress sites under one roof without switching back and forth from one site to another.

Here are some scenarios when creating a multisite network makes sense:

  1. A magazine website with different sections managed by different teams.
  2. A business website with sub-sites for different locations and branches.
  3. Government or non-profit websites can use WordPress multisite for different departments, locations, and regions.
  4. Your own network of blogs running on multiple subdomains.
  5. Schools and colleges allowing students to create their own blogs on school servers.

Requirements for a WordPress Multisite Network

All websites on a WordPress multisite network share the same server resources. This means that the most important thing you will need is a good WordPress hosting.

If you are planning on having just a couple of websites with low traffic, then you can probably get away with shared hosting.

However, due to the nature of multisite network, you’d need VPS hosting or a dedicated server as your sites grow.

We recommend Bluehost because they offer both shared hosting and VPS/Dedicated servers, and they are also one of the official WordPress hosting partners.

If you’re looking for an alternative, then SiteGround and WP Engine provide excellent service for WordPress multisite network.

Apart from web hosting, you will need the basic knowledge of how to install WordPress and editing files using FTP.

Choosing a Domain Structure for your Multisite Network

On a WordPress multisite network, you can add new sites using either subdomains or sub-directories.

Example of subdomain:
http://site1.example.com

Example of sub-directory:
http://example.com/site1/

If you choose subdomains, then you will have to configure wildcard subdomains on your server. We will show you how to do that in the next step.

On the other hand, if you choose sub-directories or path based URLs for sites on your network, then you can skip the next step.

Setting Up Wildcard Subdomains

If you decide to use subdomains for websites on your multisite network, then you will need to setup wildcard subdomains for your multisite network.

To do that, first you need to login to your WordPress hosting account’s cPanel dashboard. After that, you need to scroll down to the ‘Domains’ section and then click on ‘Subdomains’.

Setting up wild card subdomains

Note: Depending on your web hosting service, your cPanel dashboard may look slightly different than the screenshot above. This screenshot is from the cPanel on Bluehost.

On the next page, you need to enter the * sign in the subdomain field and select your main domain from the drop-down menu.

Adding wildcard subdomain

Cpanel will automatically detect the document root and will display it in the field below. Now click on the ‘Create’ button to add your wildcard subdomain.

Setting up Custom Domains for Each Site

WordPress multisite also allows you to set different domains for each website in your multisite network.

To set up custom domains, you’ll need to use the domain mapping feature and update nameserver records in your domain registrar account.

Custom domains for WordPress sites on a multisite network

We have created a detailed step by step guide on how to create WordPress multisite with different domains for the setup instructions.

Enabling WordPress Multisite Network Feature

Multisite Network feature comes built-in with each WordPress installation. All you need to do is install and setup WordPress like you normally would. After that, you just need to enable the multisite feature.

You can also enable the multisite feature on any existing WordPress site. Before you enable multisite, don’t forget to create a complete backup of your WordPress site.

To enable Multisite, connect to your site using a FTP client or cPanel file manager, and open the wp-config.php file for editing.

You need to add the following code to your wp-config.php file just before the /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ line.

/* Multisite */
define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );

Once you are done, you can save and upload your wp-config.php file back to the server.

This code simply enables the multisite feature on your WordPress site. Once enabled, you will still need to setup the multisite network.

Setting Up Your WordPress Multisite Network

Now that you have successfully enabled the Multisite Network feature on your WordPress site, it is time to set up your network.

If you are setting up a mutlisite network on an existing WordPress website, then you will need to deactivate all plugins on your site.

Simply visit the Plugins » Installed Plugins page and select all plugins. You need to select ‘Deactivate’ from the ‘Bulk Actions’ dropdown menu and then click on the ‘Apply’ button.

Deactivate plugins

You can now head over to Tools » Network Setup page to configure your multisite network.

WordPress multisite network setup

On the network setup screen, you will see a notice that you need Apache’s mod_rewrite module installed on your server. This module is installed and enabled on all the best WordPress hosting providers.

The next thing you need to do is to tell WordPress what kind of domain structure you will be using for sites in your network, e.g. Subdomains or Sub-directories.

After that, you would need to provide a title for your network and make sure that the email address in the Network admin email is correct.

Click on the install button to continue.

WordPress will now show you some code that you need to add to your wp-config.php and .htaccess file respectively.

Add code to wp-config and .htaccess files

You can use an FTP client or file manager in the cPanel to copy and paste the code in these two files.

After that you will need to re-login to your WordPress site to access the multisite network.

Configuring Network Settings

Now that you have setup the multisite network, it is time to configure network settings.

You need to switch to the ‘Network Dashboard’ to change network settings, add new sites, and configure other settings.

When you take your mouse over to the ‘My Sites’ menu in the admin toolbar, a flydown popup will appear. Click on the Network Admin » Dashboard.

Network admin dashboard

This will take you to the multisite network dashboard. You will notice that there are new menu items to manage your multisite network. You will also see a “Right Now” dashboard widget that allows you to create a new site and add new users.

Network dashboard

To configure network settings, you need to click on the ‘Settings’ link in the admin sidebar.

The first option on network settings page is to set your site title and admin email address. These fields will be filled automatically with the network title and admin email you entered during setup.

Network settings

Opening Your Multisite Network for Registrations

The ‘Registration Settings’ section on the network settings page is probably the most important setting in your network setup.

By default, both user and site registrations are disabled on the network.

You can choose to open your site for user registration, or allow existing users to create new sites, or allow both user and site registration.

WordPress multisite registration settings

If you are opening your multisite network to registration, then you can check the box next to ‘Registration Notification’ option to receive email notifications every time a new user or site is registered.

If you want to allow individual site administrators to add new users on their sites, then you can check the box next to ‘Add New Users’ option.

Registration options

Limited Email Registration option allows you to limit site or user registration to email addresses from specific domains. This is particularly useful if you only want to allow people from your own organization to register and create users or sites.

Similarly, you can also ban certain domains from registration.

New Site Settings

The ‘New Site Settings’ section allows you to configure default options for new sites created on your multisite network.

You can modify the welcome emails and the contents of first default post, page, and comment in these settings.

New site settings

As a network administrator, you can change these settings anytime.

Upload Settings for Your Multisite Network

It is important for you to keep an eye on the usage of your server resources. Under the Upload Settings section, you can limit the total amount of space a site can use for uploads.

The default value is 100 MB which is probably good for at least 100 photo uploads. You can increase or decrease this space depending on how much disk space you have.

Upload settings

The default upload file types are images, audio, video, and pdf files. You can add additional file types if you want like doc, docx, odt, etc.

After that, you can choose a file size limit, so that users can’t upload insanely large files to the server.

Plugin Menu Settings

Next, you can jump to the menu settings. It will allow you to enable the administrative menu for the plugins section on your network sites.

Show or hide plugins menu to site admins

Enabling this will show plugins menu to respective site admins. They can activate or deactivate a plugin on their individual sites, but they cannot install new plugins.

Once you are satisfied with all the configuration settings, make sure to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button.

Adding New Sites to Your WordPress Multisite Network

To add a new site to your WordPress multisite network, simply click on ‘Sites’ under My Sites » Network Admin menu in the admin toolbar.

Adding new sites to your WordPress multisite network

This will show you a list of sites on your current multisite installation. By default, you have your primary site listed as the only site in your WordPress multisite network.

To add a new site, click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top.

Add new site

On the ‘Add New Site’ page, you need to provide the site’s address. You don’t need to type the full address, just the part you want to use as subdomain or sub-directory.

Next, you need to add a site title, and enter the site admin’s email address.

Adding new site details

You can add an admin email address other than the one that you are currently using to manage your multisite network.

If the email address is not currently in use by another user, then WordPress will create a new user and send the username and password to the email address you enter.

Once you are done, click on the ‘Add Site’ button.

A new site will be added to your WordPress multisite network. As the network admin, you will receive a new site registration email as well.

If you created a new user, then that user will receive an email with instructions to set a new password and login.

Adding Themes and Plugins to Your Multisite Network

By default, individual site administrators in a multisite network cannot install themes and plugins on their own.

As the network admin, you can install the respective plugins and themes, so it’s available for all sites on your network.

Installing themes for your multisite network

To add themes, go to My Sites » Network Admin » Themes page.

Installed themes on your WordPress multisite network

On this page, you will see a list of currently installed themes on your WordPress multisite.

You can make a theme available to other sites by clicking on ‘Network Enable’ option under that theme. You can also disable a theme by clicking on ‘Network Disable’ link under the theme. Note: Network Disable option will only appear when the theme is enabled.

To add a new theme, you need to click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of your screen and then install a WordPress theme as you would normally do.

Once the new theme is installed, you will be able to make it available to other sites on your network with the ‘Network Enable’ option.

If you need recommendations on which themes to make available to your network, take a look at our picks of the best WordPress themes that you can use.

Setting a default theme for your Multisite Network

After you have added a couple of themes, WordPress will still activate the default WordPress theme for each new site.

If you want to make another theme to be the default theme for new sites, then you need to add the following code to your wp-config.php file.

// Setting default theme for new sites
define( 'WP_DEFAULT_THEME', 'your-theme' );

Replace your-theme with the name of your theme. You will need to use the name of the theme’s folder, which you can find out by looking at the /wp-content/themes/ folder.

Installing plugins for your multisite network

Similarly, you can visit My Sites » Network Admin » Plugins page to install plugins and click on the ‘Network Activate’ link below each plugin to activate them on your multisite network.

Network activate plugins on a WordPress multisite

Following are a few essential WordPress plugins that we recommend for every website:

For more plugin recommendations, see our list of the essential WordPress plugins for all websites.

Note: If you have enabled the Plugins Menu option for site admins in the ‘Network Settings’ previously, then the site administrators can activate or deactivate installed plugins on their own. Site admins cannot delete or install a new plugin on their own.

Adding Default Content to Multisite Sites

By default, WordPress allows you to edit some default content for each site on your multisite network. You can go to Settings » Network Settings page and add them under the section ‘New site settings’.

New site defaults

You can edit the content for the default post, page, and comment. We recommend replacing the default content with something more useful for your site admins.

What if you wanted additional default content to be added to each new site?

By default, WordPress does not give you an option to create additional default content for new sites. If you want to do that, then you will need to add custom code to your WordPress multisite.

In this example, we are going to add a new default page to be created for each new site.

add_action('wpmu_new_blog', 'wpb_create_my_pages', 10, 2);
 
function wpb_create_my_pages($blog_id, $user_id){
  switch_to_blog($blog_id);
 
// create a new page
  $page_id = wp_insert_post(array(
    'post_title'     => 'About',
    'post_name'      => 'about',
    'post_content'   => 'This is an about page. You can use it to introduce yourself to your readers or you can simply delete it.',
    'post_status'    => 'publish',
    'post_author'    => $user_id, // or "1" (super-admin?)
    'post_type'      => 'page',
    'menu_order'     => 1,
    'comment_status' => 'closed',
    'ping_status'    => 'closed',
 ));
  
restore_current_blog();
}

You can use the same code with little modifications to create default posts for new sites. Check out the following code:

add_action('wpmu_new_blog', 'wpb_create_my_pages', 10, 2);
 
function wpb_create_my_pages($blog_id, $user_id){
  switch_to_blog($blog_id);
 
// create a new page
  $page_id = wp_insert_post(array(
    'post_title'     => 'A sample blog post',
    'post_name'      => 'sample-blog-post',
    'post_content'   => 'This is just another sample blog post. Feel free to delete it.',
    'post_status'    => 'publish',
    'post_author'    => $user_id, // or "1" (super-admin?)
    'post_type'      => 'post',
 ));
  
restore_current_blog();
}

Troubleshooting WordPress Multisite Issues

Most common issues with WordPress multisite network setup occur due to incorrect configuration of wildcard subdomains and domain mapping issues. Make sure that your web host supports wildcard subdomains before setting up multisite.

Following are some other common issues and their quick fixes.

Fixing login issues on multisite installs

Another common issue is that when using WordPress multisite with sub-directories, some users are unable to login to the admin area of their sites after they add the required code in wp-config.php file.

To fix this, try replacing

define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false);

line in wp-config.php file with

define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', 'false');

Find unconfirmed users

Another issue that you may come across is not being able to find users who registered on your network but didn’t get the activation email. To fix this issue, see our guide on how to find pending unconfirmed users in WordPress.

Exporting a site from multisite to its own WordPress install

Later at some point, you or another site owner may want to export a site from multisite to its own WordPress install. This can be easily done. For step by step instructions see our guide on how to move a site from WordPress multisite to single install.

You may also want to bookmark our ultimate guide of common WordPress errors and how to fix them. It will save you a lot of time by quickly fixing the most common WordPress issues.

FAQs About WordPress Multisite Network

Many of our users have asked us plenty of questions about WordPress multisite network and how to use it more efficiently. Following are the most frequently asked questions that we have answered.

1. Would I be able to better manage my sites with a multisite network?

To be honest, the answer really depends on your usage scenario.

For example, if your websites are not related to each other, then you would be better off with a multiple site management tool, like InifiteWP.

If you manage multiple sites for a restaurant chain, university, or online magazine, then WordPress multisite will be more efficient.

2. Does WordPress multisite make my websites load faster?

Once again it depends on several factors. Better WordPress hosting with plenty of server resources will allow multisite to be faster but then again with these resources, individual WordPress sites will also run faster.

However, on a shared hosting account, traffic spikes will increase memory usage and slow down all websites on the multisite network at the same time. To improve multisite speed, see our guide on WordPress performance and speed optimization.

3. Can I add an online store to a WordPress Multisite Website?

Yes, you can add an online store in WordPress multisite network. Most likely, you will be using an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce for that, which is compatible with WordPress multisite.

4. Can I install ‘x plugin’ on my WordPress multisite?

Some WordPress plugins may not be compatible with WordPress multisite. Normally, plugin authors mention it on the plugin’s website and you can avoid installing a plugin that may not work on a multisite setup. However, if it is not mentioned, then it is safe to assume that it is multisite compatible.

4. How do I share user logins and roles across the multisite network?

By default, a user who is registered on one site cannot register or be added to another site on the same network. That’s because they are already registered in the shared WordPress database. However, they don’t have any user role privileges on other sites.

You can use third-party plugins like WP Multisite User Sync to sync users across the network. However, you need to be careful as you may end up giving someone admin privileges to a site.

We hope this article helped you learn how to install and setup WordPress multisite network. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress security guide to protect and keep your WordPress multisite secure.

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Reader Interactions

238 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I have a pretty cool domain and I want to start a wp network on it so people can create blogs and website with a selection of my own themes.
    I would like to know what I need to do legally to keep the possibility to shut down all the sites if I decide not to host them anymore. Is there a terms and agreements I should use or is it already included? If anybody has any experience with hosting multiple sites it would be very helpful with me.

  2. Hello WP Beginner

    Your site has helped me once more to figure out that I needed mod_rewrite to install multisite. My hosting service will not provide the code and say that I need a developer.

    Can you please assist? I see a lot of mod rewrite codes but am not sure which one to use

    Thanks again
    Mercedes

  3. Is wildcard sub domain works for parked domain. Its create the sub domain but showing:

    “Internal Server Error

    500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.”

  4. Hi,

    I am trying to setup a subdomain on my blog using the multisite feature but I always get error. I even setup the wildcard subdomain rule in the cPanel but it doesn’t seem to be helping much.

    Can you help me out, please?

  5. Hello Team,

    is it possible to configure multisite on currently running wordpress site?

    Thanks in advance

  6. Great article, i have installed multisite and everything goes well but when i activate google analytic plugin, i can do anything on my network admin, i can install any plugin and i get error.

    Another issue, i installed WP domain Mapping.When i want to settup it want me to add some codes. i did all and it didnt work. Can you please give me steps that will lead me to success? i will appreciate that.

  7. Hi, great tutorial!
    Is it mandatory to create a wildcard subdomain, if i go with subdomain structure? Or can i create the subdomains manually?
    Cheers, Stanislaw

  8. Hi
    Thanks for wpbeginner Team very easily to understanding your all information, lot of thanks….

  9. Thanks sooo much for this article. It is very well structured and written. Saved me hours of valuable time.

    JMB

  10. I create my own multisite network site. my primary site working but when i create new site it’s not working ??? gives error Not Found??? i use sub directory structure so word-press add the directory it self or we can create those directory manually when add new site……i am confuse ????

  11. I’m surprised you recommend BlueHost in this article, even though they state they don’t support multisite.

  12. Dear Author;
    i do that but when i input url of a new site in menubar:

    Not Found

    The requested URL /index.php was not found on this server.
    Apache/2 Server at abc.example.com Port 80

    appear. what is the reason?

  13. Error establishing a database connection

    After create site1 in network it show database error
    please help me
    my code is

    define(‘MULTISITE’, true);
    define(‘SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL’, ‘false’);
    define(‘DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE’, ‘example.com’);
    define(‘PATH_CURRENT_SITE’, ‘/’);
    define(‘SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE’, 1);
    define(‘BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE’, 1);

  14. Please help me
    i am new for multisite on wordpress , i setup multisite but show this error An existing WordPress network was detected. Please solve this error with me.

  15. Hi,

    Thanks for this handy & detailled tutorial!

    I recently started setting up a city guide, with shopping locations in all the major Belgian cities, in WP.

    But I am wondering now if a MultiSite is a good idea: because I do not want all my diferent subdomain sites (cities) to diappear, when there is a hacking problem, or when one subdomain goes down.

    What would you advice, for such directories: multi or single…?

    Thanks a lot!

    & best regards,
    Leen / Belgium

    • It all come downs to convenience. If you are able to easily manage multiple installs on sub-domains, then you should stick to it. However, if you feel that managing multiple installs is difficult, then you can try multisite network. Creating a multisite network would allow you to quickly create new sites, switch between sites, manage themes, plugins, and backups. But it also means that if your WordPress install is hacked, all your sites will go down with it.

      Admin

  16. I done all what you said but when i create a new site, exemple : test.noov.fr , and i go on test.noov.fr, it dosen’t work. So i must create manually a subdomain called test.noov.fr and put the wordpress. Then it’s working, but i want that what i said became “automatic” when i create a new site on my network wordpress. Thanks if you can answer

  17. Hello,

    I’ve scoured the Internet for information on Multisite and found tons of useful information, but am still unsure of how to proceed. Since my searches always lead me back here, I thought I’d reach out. Though there haven’t been any comments in a while, I was hoping you’d be able to help me decide whether Multisite is a good solution for me, and if so, clarify the best steps to take to implement it. I want to be forward thinking and avoid headaches down the road, setting up a solid foundation for my WP sites.

    The Backstory: I’m new to WP and have setup a blog at my already hosted domain with Godaddy. I used a subdomain (blog.mydomain.com) and install WP in the subdomain using Godaddy’s WP installation tool.

    I’d previously had the low traffic blog on Blogger but was frustrated by the limitations. Realizing I could piggyback off of webhosting I already paid for, I migrated all the posts over to a subdomain on my Godaddy plan using Blogger Importer Extended. I then linked them using Blogger 301 Redirect. I had to clean some formatting up, but overall it has been working out well, and as far as I can tell people are finding their way from old Blogger links to the new WP blog without issue.

    Now that I’m a bit more comfortable with WP, I’m thinking of building a new site for my root domain, replacing the outdated Flash site that is there now. The blog and the root domain site are not associated, The blog is personal and the root domain site is separate for work, a kind of demo/resume site. I also have another completely separate domain, for a different business site I have. It’s also a very basic html resume page that I’m leaving alone for now. Down the line I might want to have a static page at my primary domain that acts as a portal to my different sites, but for now, will likely have only two sites to manage (mydomain.com and blog.mydomain.com).

    Let’s start with this question: Is this a good time to establish a Multisite framework? Is the scenario I describe appropriate for its use? Or should I just keep it simple and have two separate WP installs and only deal with Multisite if things get more complex down the line?

    I look forward to your reply!

    • Keeping separate installations of WordPress has its own benefits. For example, each of your site can be customized without affecting other sites on the network. You can move a single site easily if it grows beyond your expectations. You can automate the updates process so that your sites need minimal supervision.

      On the other hand if you feel that you will benefit from making a network of your sites using the same WordPress core, then you can do that too. We don’t think it would be anymore efficient than separate installs for each site.

      Admin

  18. Hey there,
    i want to know how many subdomains create from wordpress admin panel with 1 wildcard subdomain

  19. Hey there,

    I am owner of and the website is running on a multisite network…Google indexes the website well but it does not index or crawls through my subdomains…Is it because somewhere in multisite network installation nofollow has been used?

    Regards,
    Sumit

  20. Hi there! I was wondering if I can use WordPress Multisite just for subdomains. What I mean is: I want to make a landing page (no wordpress theme) with 2 options (Option A and Option B) this is http://www.example.com and 2 subdomains “optionA.example.com” and “optionB.example.com”. I want 2 Home pages with different content, option A subdomain will have only those articles with optionA tag and the same for option B, but I want to manage that from only one wordpress installation. Is this posible?

  21. when you crete a sub dmain does it crete a new sub domain folder on my host that i can access via ftp

  22. Great article, but I missed seeing how to delete all but one of the current installs. I have two subdomains and one subdirectory with separate WP installs in them. What do I delete in those, please, after multisite is set up?

  23. Hi,

    When I installed the multisite network I did NOT have the choice between subdomain or sub directories so i just click on install. Now my 1st site is running but when im going to my dashboard to the other site it says page not found.
    I think it went as a sub domain because in the network setup they asked me to paste (‘SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL’, true)> That’s NOT what I wanted. I wanted to have sub directories. I tried to put instead (‘SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL’, false) but it doesn’t work at all!!

    I dont know how to fix this.
    I need someone to help me out! Can I change and co back to sub directories?

  24. WordPress multisite is such a nightmare. I mean why would you put all your eggs in the same basket?
    I mean how is it acceptable to anyone that if 1 site goes down, all go down? Or that if 1 is hacked, all are lost to hackers?
    Of course, you might disregard this because you hope this will never happen, I tend to think it’s just a matter of time before it does.

    Besides, I know many folks are building a network of thin original content websites that is supposed to perform with search engine, like for local franchisees, point of sales, distributors and such.

    Unfortunately, from a SEO standpoint, any duplicated content served from the same block of IP”s will be rapidly shown the way to supplement index results, so to me the WP multisite architecture is not only unflexible, it is also very flawed.

  25. Hello! I followed your steps (including the ‘false’ trouble-shooting change to my config file), but I am getting a redirect loop for my sub-directory folders ( I set up two). Is there something else I can do? I haven’t bought a domain yet, I’m using my website providers temporary ip address to house my website, , so could that possibly have something to do with it? Thanks for the help! Really enjoyed the article and was able to set up with no difficulty except I can’t access it. :P

  26. i hope you can help me,I enabled multisite,i did the writeing in the config.php , i did all the steps here on the page i installed the network i created my custom user and a website for the user but when the user wants to login this apears:

    Warning:
    require_once(/home/u645014264/public_html/demoshop/wp-includes/load.php):
    failed to open stream: No such file or directory in
    /home/u645014264/public_html/demoshop/wp-load.php on line 41

    Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required
    ‘/home/u645014264/public_html/demoshop/wp-includes/load.php’
    (include_path=’.:/usr/lib/php’) in
    /home/u645014264/public_html/demoshop/wp-load.php on line 41

    please help me

  27. Add domains to your web hosting account. Select a different directory for each domain. Then install a separate copy of WordPress in each directory. See your web host’s help/documentation section to learn about how to add domain names.

    • Thanks for your response. I have trouble finding a guide or documentation for this, do you know where to find some info?

  28. Is it possible to host different domains on one multisite installation, domain1.com, domain2.com etc.? If not, what is the best solution for hosting different sites on the same server? Our company has 3 domains we need to host and I would prefer it to be on the same server.

  29. Hi, is it possible to create another network under the same domain? Right now I have the main network with a list of subsites all in subdirectories. I want to create another network under the same domain where I can create a separate network of sites that are for a different purpose but still part of the original domain.

    All the solutions I see require that I use a different domain when settings up multi-networks.

    Thanks

  30. I managed to create a really boring site that only displays ”
    Error establishing a database connection”

  31. Hi There,
    I installed multisite network. My 1st site is running but when im going to my dashboard to the other site it says page not available.
    I think something went wrong with the subdomains wildcard, but i dont know how to fix this. Do i have to make a subdomain manually ?
    I hope someone can help me out!
    Cheers, David – The Neterlands

    • Hi david, you just need to edit define(‘SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL’, ‘false’); insted of define(‘SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL’, false); in config.php

  32. This is great! very usefull and can you please tell how to point a domain using domain mapping plugin for subdirectories installation :) Thank you very much :)

  33. Hi, I am in a bit of a trouble here… I don’t fully understand, I activated multisite, ok, wildcard, ok, but when I add a new site I get a blank page or 404 error. So my question is Do I need to install WordPress 2 times? And enable multisite in the main domain and add the second site or I just have to install the main WordPress and just enable multisite?

    • Same problem with Jorge. 404 page if i wanna get to the dashboard of the new site on the subdomain.

    • Hi, i have the same problem. mulitsite installion ok, wildcard ok, but when i want to enter the dashboard of the new site i get a 404 error. can you pls advise?

  34. I would strongly suggest sub-folders not sub-domains – its better for SEO from what i’ve read through reliable sources like MOZ- should at least give people that option when giving instructions, just a suggestion.

    • i would say not true at all as it depends on the nature of the site on how it would brand itself. ive been working for an organization that has multisite install for 4 years now and its on a subdomain. i would suggest though when comes to SEO matters… its much better to rely on the specifications set by the search engines themselves.

    • At our end m not getting telnet reply as we don’t have full access to the internet in SDC but i am getting the hit count on the port so the traffic is through at our end .

  35. Yes, go to your cPanel and add the sub domain * nothing else and leave it at your root html folder all done

    • Greg – When I add a sub domain (at Bluehost) it will not allow me to keep the sub doamain at the root directory, it will automatically add a new subdirectory within my root directory for the newly created sub domain. Is there someway around this because I get the 404 error too.

  36. what if I’m not able to create Wildcard subdomains? Can I manually create the subdomains (under cPanel) I intend to use with WordPress?

  37. Hi, I’ve installed multi site and WP multi network and no problem creating sub domains or creating users. But assigning privileges? I assumed that since (Extended Super Users which I have installed also) only removes privileges assigned to a certain role and that role is assigned to an existing user – that ANY new users I set up would default to Super Admin – if I tick the box in settings “assign super admin access to this user”. Great – but I am doing this as the super admin – I’ve created a network, assigned sites, I can delete the site, edit the (sub) domain and path but when I attempt to access the “network admin” area it tells me I don’t have sufficient privileges to access the area. I’m a little confused. I want to create a network, assign sites and assign an admin user name – grant that user “full” privileges to all sites I have assigned in that specific network. I’m happy to do that by removing super admin privileges in a created role – but I’m having issues just creating network and assigning. After creating a network I want to be able to access it also as a Super admin. When I try to access the network via the emailed username and password of the network I set up I can access “my network” dashboard but then get an error message – file not found. Is there somewhere I can access detailed instruction on these steps?

  38. Nope, we didn’t. First you need to Allow multisite, after that you need to run the network setup. After you have run the setup. Depending on what options you choose during the setup WordPress will show you the code that needed to be entered in the wp-config.php file. The line you mentioned is one of the lines provided by WordPress after the setup and it can be different if a user opted for sub-directories instead of subdomains.

  39. I’ve converted a single site installation into a multisite, following both your directions here and the WordPress Codex. However, every time I try to go to the dashboard of a newly added subsite (myexample.mainsite.org) the browser response is that it can’t be found. I’ve gone over the instructions several times and replayed what I did, but I can’t figure out why this is happening. Shouldn’t the default theme have been automatically assigned to my new site? and shouldn’t I be able to start editing my new site from there? I did, as my first step, go to my host’s cPanel and set up the subdomain wildcard; before that even, I contacted the host to verify that my hosting situation (shared hosting) would support a multisite situation.

    Ideas? I appreciate it, thanks!

      • Thank you. I did confirm that was ok. I still don’t really know what the issue was, but after spending an hour on the chat line with my hosting provider, and giving him super admin access to my site, it’s all fixed! Hooray :-)

  40. what if i like to rollback WordPress Multisite network into single site, what is process to do that ?

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